Most people are aware of the benefits that drinking water has on their bodies and wellbeing. And most of those people are also aware of how to look after their oral health too. We all like to think we brush twice daily and floss regularly – imperative in maintaining the health of gums and teeth - along with reducing the amount of sugar we consume! But there is one factor which is largely ignored when it comes to oral health, and that is hydration, which plays a significant role when it comes to keeping your mouth healthy.
As most of us have a habit of drinking only when we’re thirsty, we often overlook the benefit that drinking water will have on our dental hygiene. When we drink water, it can help flush away the sugars and small particles of food which may have become lodged between the teeth. Not only is this good for our overall health, but will also reduce the risk of nasty smelling breath, caused by decaying food debris.
As our mouths are full of bacteria, drinking water will help keep the volume of bad bacteria under control, thus helping to maintain a healthier mouth. The bad bacteria present can contribute to gum disease, so drinking plenty of water will help flush them away. It’s important to hydrate yourself at night before you go to bed (and more so after consuming alcohol), as while we’re asleep our mouths can become dry. These bacteria love to breed in a warm and dry environment so keep a glass of water by the bed, so that if you wake in the night you can take a few sips.
Surprisingly, there is one occasion when using water isn’t advocated - when it comes to brushing. Dentists recommend we use a good quality fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is a decay fighting substance that protects the tooth’s enamel. During brushing it is now recommended that you don’t rinse – leaving the toothpaste in the mouth will ensure that the maximum benefit of the fluoride is gained. Just spit out the excess and smile!